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Now, Pakistan mangoes tantalise US tastebuds

Aug 23, 2011 3:41:15 PM - www.ft.lk

Washington: Three years after the Indian “Alphonso” landed in the US to the delight of diehard mango lovers, the popular “Chausa” variety from Pakistan has entered American markets this month, leading to cheers from fans.

Traders involved in its import concede that this brings an element of competition between the mango varieties from two countries, though both are facing the problem of high costs and are presently quite far away from the reach of the masses and are not readily available in Indian and Pakistani grocery stores.
Jaidev Sharma, President of Mangozz.com, one of the largest importers of the fruit from India and Pakistan, says that generally mangoes from India have an edge over those from Pakistan. After the arrival of the first commercial shipment of about 800 boxes of Pakistani “Chausa” early this month, a box of six “Chausa” mangoes was quickly taken at a premium price of $60-100.
In the last few years, the Indian “Alphonso” has been the costliest variety in the US, with a box (weighing about 3 kg and containing nine to 12 mangoes) being sold this year at $40-80 in the retail market.
Mango importers from Pakistan hope that as the volume of import of “Chausa” increases in the coming years, they would be able to give a stiff challenge to the mangoes from India.
 “We hope to give a tough competition to the Indian mangoes,” said a Pakistani-origin shopkeeper in the Greater Washington Area, who was one of the lucky few to sell from the first commercial consignment.
All eyes are now set on the second commercial consignment of the variety from Pakistan, scheduled to arrive at the Chicago airport, the port of entry for mangoes, on Thursday, which will be taken to the radiation facility in Illinois a day later.
The consignment is being eagerly awaited by traders here as the import of Indian mangoes this season has ended, giving a field day to “Chausa” for carving its place among those who relish the fruit.
American importers of mango from India were left disappointed when the inspector from US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who processes mangoes at the facility near Nasik and issues certification for their export, left India in the third week of June, even before the peak of the mango season in the northern and eastern parts of the country. (PTI)

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